Panspermia in a Milky Way-like Galaxy

Raphael Gobat, Sungwook E. Hong, Owain Snaith, Sungryong Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We study the process of panspermia in Milky Way-like galaxies by modeling the probability of successful travel of organic compounds between stars harboring potentially habitable planets. To this end, we apply the modified habitability recipe of Gobat & Hong to a model galaxy from the McMaster Unbiased Galaxy Simulations suite of zoom-in cosmological simulations. We find that, unlike habitability, which only occupies a narrow dynamic range over the entire galaxy, the panspermia probability can vary by orders of magnitude between the inner (R, b = 1-4 kpc) and outer disk. However, only a small fraction of star particles have very large values for the panspermia probability and, consequently, the fraction of star particles where the panspermia process is more effective than prebiotic evolution is much lower than from naïve expectations based on the ratio between the panspermia probability and natural habitability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number157
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume921
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 10 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

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